Value of Life

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Teacher Version The Value of Life Reading selections for this module: Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Act III, Sc. 1: Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy. Armstrong, Lance, with Sally Jenkins. Excerpt from It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. New York: Putnam, 2000. 1–5. Ripley, Amanda. “What Is a Life Worth?” Time 11 Feb. 2002. The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. LIFE. “The Human Life Value Calculator” <>. T he assignment sequence in this module asks your students to read a number of texts, written in very different contexts and genres, that provide various points of view on the ways in which we as a society value human life. The goal of this module is to inquire into different ways writers have probed and represented the value of human life. While each of the texts to be read have been used successfully with high school students, the sequence could easily be expanded to include many other texts. The key objective for your students is to make connections among the various texts, notice the rhetorical conventions used by specific genres to explore similar questions, and then use similar rhetorical devices while writing an essay about their own perceptions of how life should be valued. During this sequence your students will read each of the following texts: • William Shakespeare, “Hamlet’s Soliloquy” from Hamlet, Prince of Denmark • Lance Armstrong, excerpt from Chapter One of It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life • Amanda Ripley, “What Is a Life Worth?” from Time magazine • “The Human Life Value Calculator,” an online resource from the Life Institute ( Note: The activities for students provided in the Student Version for this module are copied here in the Teacher Version for your convenience. The shaded areas
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